Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships | Joanne Davila | TEDxSBU
How to Start a Strong "Dating" Relationship
When it comes to relationships, there are many misconceptions that both men and women have developed either from their own experiences or from what they have been told by others. This tends to lead to the development of ideas that people believe are universal. In truth, many of these ideas are what lead to bad relationships, and throughout this "How to", I will try to straighten some of the ideas out with some easy steps to follow to understand what is the best relationship for you.
Make good friends."True love" rarely comes from a woman you pick up at a bar (or a guy who picks you up at a bar). It may happen, too, but the chances are very slim. The longest-lasting "dating" relationships tend to be those that begin as strong "friend" relationships and eventually become more intimate. Perhaps the most difficult rule to believe is that love is not something you run around looking for.
When you begin to feel closer to a very good friend, don't jump into it.Make sure he/she is sharing the feeling to a certain degree (It does not matter if you are a man or a woman; if you are making advances on a good friend who does not want to become "involved" with you, you will not begin dating, but will instead lose a friend.), and that you both have the same idea. Go slowly, and don't try to force yourselves into a relationship. This will usually be a fairly reliable way to annoy the potential girl/boyfriend. I won't say there are specific universal signs, but you will know when he/she is comfortable with holding hands, putting your arm around him/her, kissing him/her, etc. If they are nudging their faces up into yours, they are probably asking to be kissed, for example. There is no formula to apply here, though. A kiss on the cheek could mean that someone has committed him/herself to you, whereas with some, a kiss on the cheek is nothing more than saying "hello" or "goodbye" to an acquaintance.
If he/she doesn't seem to want to advance the relationship beyond "friends," don't assume he/she was "leading you on." You may have seen his/her friendly remarks as potential come-ons because you wanted them to be. Just remember this: You can remain friends with him/her, without dating or thinking romantically of one another.
If you do end up dating, that's all I can tell you.This isn't a how-to for sex tips or anything other than building a healthy romantic relationship.
- A relationship is probably not very healthy if either party is getting forceful. If you are told that "The woman is always right," or that "Men are the decision-makers; women should obey," you may not be hearing sexism. You may be hearing your significant other trying to bypass your input. When this happens, either way, you are getting signs that the relationship is unbalanced. If your boy/girlfriend is trying to write you off by saying men/women are not supposed to be able to make final decisions, then they are reducing the other's purpose to a chore-doer and "sex buddy." So here's the general rule: Arguing is a form of debate that involves two parties, each trying to defeat the other side's point entirely. Discussions are a form of debate in which the two parties try to compromise. In a good relationship, the vast majority of debates should end in compromises, not one person throwing up their hands resignedly.
- On a similar note, it is also a terrible idea to talk in a prescribed way. If you are looking for more than a one-night stand, regardless of your sex, you should be looking to attract the person who likes you, not the person you pretend to be. Because sooner or later, that barrier will crash down and your boy/girlfriend will see who you are.
- One of the most unfortunate misconceptions is that there are ways to generalize the mental function of a man or a woman. In truth, the only thing that all men and women have in common with their own sex is biological. There are women who act like "stereotypical" men, and vice versa. Therefore, you cannot judge reliably how a man or woman behaves in a given situation by the rule that "Women don't like x, y, z," or that "Men prefer z, y, x." Learn the person's personality, don't rely on dating websites to tell you how to talk.
- Also look out for loss of the relationship. Frequently, relationships can dissolve into sex. In truth, being able to talk is necessary in order to be able to lead a healthy relationship, regardless of who you are. There will come a time when you will no longer be able to use sex as a way of denying your differences (be it age or a random time in the relationship), and when that time comes, it will be obvious that you can't get along.
Video: How to Turn Casual Dating into a Committed Relationship
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